Thursday, May 31, 2012

Update on Jason and Happenings in Cusco

I am writing this in the evening of the last day of May. There have been a number of events take place here and around Cusco that are unsettling to say the least. 
First, I want to update you on Jason.  Some not so good news for Jason. It looks like they will have to remove his testicles as a result of damage from the chemotherapy.  He is doing as good as can be expected. I had a chance to say hi the other day, but he is not allowed any visitors except his mother. Not much more to report, but I wanted to give you all an update at least to keep him in your thoughts and prayers.
As for the other events of Cusco, there have been a lot of strikes and protests regarding various social issues in the area. One of which is a three day strike at the hospital in which Jason is admitted. The problem is that the doctors that work at the hospital make about 2500 soles a month (so I was told by a taxi driver who seemed to know the specifics of the protest). Not sure if this is accurate, but after going to school for 10 years of your life, the expected wage is much higher than 2500 soles which is about 1000 dollars per month. That is supposedly what the doctors at the public hospitals make. Now this is unsettling on a number of levels. What kind of care is my little friend Jason getting? Sometimes we can get so frustrated with the cultural things that make it uncomfortable for us. It really gets frustrating when they impact people like Jason.  For example, I have two blood donors that are willing to give their blood to Jason, but the hospital won’t take them. We are waiting it out, but it creates a lot of frustration. We will continue to do what we can, but please keep the upheaval in Cusco in your prayers. With all the strikes, it makes it hard to run the cafĂ© as we cannot always get the items we need to serve our customers. It makes it difficult to get around in the city. The taxis use the strikes as a way to charge higher fares. It shuts down schools and businesses, and just has a damaging impact on the city and country. Please keep our family in your prayers as we live in the middle of it. We are safe, but just frustrated with the politics and cultural way of handling issues like these.
I will continue to keep updates coming about Jason and his family.
May God bless you and prosper you all!
Scott Englund

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